It's taken us about a month or so in small sessions, but we got there in the end!
This year is the first year we have clipped / sheared our sheep ourselves. Normally we have contractors who come in to clip them but they have retired this year so we were left with the option of finding new contractors or doing it ourselves. We decided to do it ourselves and invest in our own equipment, as contractors are in high demand at this time of year, and it's often a case of waiting until they can fit us in, which can often result in clipping at very short notice and often in not the most ideal circumstances.
So we decided to invest in the equipment ourselves and do clip them ourselves, slowly but surely, a few at a time, at times that were most ideal to us. We invested in some battery operated clippers (Horner Rambo QuickDraw), to enable us to clip the sheep in a location without a power supply if need be.
Our first sheep was not quite ready, fleece wise. That, combined with our inexperience, resulted in not the best clipping experience: it took a while and was a bit awkward and fiddly. However, by the end, we had managed to get a bit of a routine together, and the fleeces were much better. We clipped the last three sheep today, and we are very pleased with the quality of the clip!!
If you look closely at the LambWatch sheep, it shouldn't be too difficult to see which we did first and which we did at the end! Some of the earlier sheep aren't quite as closely sheared and many have a few bits of straggly wool hanging off around their legs. The last few are nice and close and have tidy legs and bottoms!
You have lovely soft hands after, and the sheep love to feel cool. Unfortunately there's not huge money in wool at the moment.
This is quite a feather in your caps so good for you! One question, when you say that the first sheep wasn't quite ready, fleece wise.. what does that mean?
at a certain point after lambing, the sheeps fleece starts to " spring ". This means in starts to lift away from its body slightly and becomes easier to clip. I suspect if the sheep wernet clippped, this " springing " is natures way of trying to keep the sheep cooler during the summer months. the time of springing can vary, depending on how much work a sheep has had to do whilst suckling their offspring. For example, a sheep with a single lamb has less work to do supplying milk than a sheep with two or three lambs. Therefore, its fleece will spring earlier.
Sorry about the typing errors but you know what I mean, I hope
Ah, thanks Lynda. I do understand what you mean
Another time again! We remember the last one's. We been watching the disk movie. Lovely Family